Advertisement

Donnish Dominion Supreme? The University Grants Committee and the Governance of the English Universities

  • Ourania FilippakouEmail author
  • Ted Tapper
Chapter
Part of the SpringerBriefs in Education book series (BRIEFSEDUCAT)

Abstract

This opening chapter analyses the structure of governance that controlled the English university system for much of its history, from 1919 to 1988. The UGC was a quasi-state body responsible for steering the development of the English universities. It did so under the auspices of the Treasury until 1964, thereafter the Department for Education and Science. Throughout most of its history it respected the principle of university autonomy with the individual institutions being able to determine their own course of development. Post-1945 the operations of the UGC came under increasing pressure as there were demands to increase and diversify the social character of the student body, as the university had to accommodate an increasingly expanding sector of higher education, the polytechnics, and those broad-based political demands in the 1970s to pressure the universities into helping the nation resolve its economic difficulties. The end result was the emergence of a diversified tertiary model of higher education, the demise beginning seriously in 1988 of the UGC and the subsequent emergence of the funding council model of governance with policy direction in the hands of the incumbent government with the funding councils confined to ensuring policy implementation. What we have witnessed is the emergence of a more tightly regulated model of higher education.

Keywords

Autonomy Public funding System diversity 

References

  1. Berdahl, R. O. (1959). British universities and the state. Cambridge: Cambridge University Press.Google Scholar
  2. Berdahl, R. O. (1990). Academic freedom, autonomy and accountability in british universities. Studies in Higher Education, 2, 169–180.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. Berdahl, R. O., & Shattock, M. (1984). The british university grants committee, 1919–1983: Changing relationships with government and the universities. Higher Education, 23(5), 471–499.Google Scholar
  4. Boliver, V. (2017). Misplaced optimism: How higher education reproduces rather than reduces social inequality. British Journal of Sociology of Education, 38(3), 423–432.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  5. Brown, R., & Carasso, H. (2013). Everything for sale?: The marketisation of UK higher education. Oxon, New York: Routledge.Google Scholar
  6. Filippakou, O., Salter, B., & Tapper, T. (2010). Compliance, resistance and seduction: Reflections on 20 years of the funding council model of governance. Higher Education, 60(5), 543–557.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  7. Filippakou, O., Salter, B., & Tapper, T. (2012a). Higher education as a system: The english experience. Higher Education Quarterly, 66(1), 106–122.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. Filippakou, O., Salter, B., & Tapper, T. (2012b). The changing structure of british higher education: How diverse is it? Tertiary Education and Management, 18(4), 321–333.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  9. Goddard, J., & Vallance, P. (2013). The university and the city. New York.Google Scholar
  10. Halsey, A. H. (1995). Decline of donnish dominion: The british academic profession in the twentieth century. Oxford: Oxford University Press.Google Scholar
  11. Ministry of Education and the Scottish Education Department [Anderson Committee]. (1960). Grants to students. London: HMSO.Google Scholar
  12. Palfreyman, D., & Tapper, T. (2014). Reshaping the university: The rise of the regulated market in higher education. Oxford: Oxford University Press.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  13. Robbins, L. (1963). Higher education: Report of the committee. London: HMSO, Cmnd 2154.Google Scholar
  14. Robinson, E. (1968). The new polytechnics: The people’s universities. London: Penguin Press.Google Scholar
  15. Salter, B., & Tapper, T. (2000). The politics of governance in higher education: The case of quality assurance. Political Studies, 48(1), 66–87.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  16. Salter, B., & Tapper, T. (2003). Interpreting the process of change in higher education: The case of the research assessment exercises 57(1), 4–23.Google Scholar
  17. Shattock, M. (Ed.). (1996). The Creation of a university system. Oxford: Blackwells.Google Scholar
  18. Trow, M. (2007). Reflections on the transition from elite to mass to universal access: Forms and phases of higher education in modern societies since WWII. In J. J. F. Forest & P. G. Altbach (Eds.), International handbook of higher education. Dordrecht: Springer.Google Scholar
  19. Whitty, G., Hayton, A., & Tang, S. (2015). Who you know, what you know and knowing the ropes: A review of evidence about access to higher education institutions in england. Review of Education, 3(1), 68–71.CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Williams, G. (2014). Reflections in the debate. In O. Filippakou & G. Williams (Eds.), Higher education as a public good: Critical perspectives on theory, policy and practice. New York: Peter Lang.Google Scholar

Electronic Sources and Websites

  1. Fisher, H. A. L. (1918). The 1918 Education Act [The Fisher Act]. Retrieved January 15, 2018, from http://www.educationengland.org.uk/documents/acts/1918-education-act.pdf.
  2. Higher education statistics agency (HESA). (2018). Widening participation: HE undergraduate UK domiciled full-time student enrolments by participation characteristics 2012/13–2016/17. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from https://www.hesa.ac.uk/data-and-analysis/students/whos-in-he.
  3. Research excellence framework (REF). (2014). Research excellence: The results. Retrieved March 30, 2018, from http://www.ref.ac.uk/2014/pubs/201401/.

Copyright information

© The Author(s), under exclusive licence to Springer Nature Switzerland AG 2019

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Department of EducationBrunel University LondonUxbridgeUK
  2. 2.Oxford Centre for Higher Education Policy Studies (OxCheps)New College, OxfordOxfordUK

Personalised recommendations